Monday, August 23, 2010

A look at Team USA

2008 Team USA (Redeem Team) Collects Gold Medals
In case you haven't noticed I'm a Team USA Stan. After the '08 Olympics I wrote a lil something on what I thought the '12 Olympic team would look like (Scroll through the comments I'm cbwr24). Its time for a little revising lol (Future post).

Anyways, the FIBA World Championships is right around the corner (Aug. 28th-Sept. 12th) and Team USA has been preparing all summer, so naturally I've been following. The started in camp earlier this summer out in Vegas, then they came to New Your City where the participated in the Nike World Basketball Festival, and now they're in Europe for the final preparations before the tournament starts. 

Of course no players from the Redeem Team are on this team one from that team is on this team (nothing to prove unlike last time). Fortunately for us we have a bunch of talented players to choose from as replacements. This, of course, is what got us in trouble in previous years. We would just plug in a bunch of "talented" players and expect gold. Thanks to the '04 Olympic debacle we now realize that its the right talent that needs to be together, something Jerry Colangelo (Director of USA Basketball) has worked very hard on. That being said, this team is an interesting cast.

Coach K returns as the head coach of the team, as does his Olympic assistants: Nate McMillan, Mike D'Antoni, and Jim Boeheim. This is a very young and athletic team, loaded with long and versatile wing players, and lighting fast guards. Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala are all 3s who will probably play 3 and 4 in the tournament. Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook are three very fast and strong PGs. Chauncey Billups provides veteran leadership, having played for Team USA at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championships. He also brings great clutch shooting to this table, something thats very important in international competitions. He will play mostly SG. The team only has one true center; Tyson Chandler, but plan to use Lamar Odom and Kevin Love at center at times. Stephen Curry and Eric Gordon, who both provide shooting, round out the team.

While they were here in NYC they played the 1st of 4 international friendlies vs France. The won easily 86-55. I had the fortune of being at the game. Since they've been in Europe they have played game 2 and 3 of their friendlies schedule. The first was Saturday vs Lithuania, a 77-61 victory, and the second was yesterday where they narrowly beat out Spain 86-85. Their final tune-up will be this coming Wednesday when they face off with Greece (7pm ESPN). After the game we should get a better look at how the team will play when the tournament starts and who will be on the final roster (1 more cut must be made).

A closer look coming soon...

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